France Resorts to Military Troops to Guarantee Security during Yellow Vest Protests
France is already using troops to guard public venues in Operation Sentinel because of the 2015 terrorist attacks.
France’s government is going to use military troops across the country in order to help guarantee security during the protests of the Yellow Vest movement planned for the upcoming weekend.
The decision to resort to the military troops was made by French President Emmanuel Macron, and was announced on Wednesday by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, as cited by France24.
It comes in the wake of last weekend’s outbursts of violence in downtown Paris, especially on the Champs-Elysees avenue and the Arc de Triomphe, in which hundreds of black bloc anarchists marring the Yellow Vest protest could not be stopped by the 5,000 riot police deployed.
The French authorities plan to use the military during the upcoming Yellow Vest rallies primarily to secure government buildings and other sites, which would free up the police forces and give them the opportunity to focus exclusively on maintaining public order, according to Griveaux.
Some 7,000 soldiers armed with automatic rifles have been deployed all over France in Operation Sentinel since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris back in 2015.
After the Yellow Vest rally violence by black bloc anarchists in Paris over the weekend, on Monday the French government admitted to security failures, and announced new security measures, including banning demonstrations on the Champs-Elysees avenue.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also announced that the head of the Paris police, 66-year-old Michel Delpuech, had been sacked because of security failures.
Delpuech, who had held the top police job in the French capital since April 2017, was replaced on Wednesday by Didier Lallement, until now the top police official in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in Southwest France.
Philippe also announced that the authorities were going to increase the fines for people attending unauthorized protesters from EUR 38 to EUR 135.
Some 100 venues were vandalized by the black bloc anarchists in downtown Paris during the Yellow Vest demonstration last Saturday, including many luxury brand stores.
(Banner image: TV grab from France24)